Red House Painters

Old Ramon: Just got back from seeing RHP at Lee’s Palace here in Toronto. What a strange show; disappointing, but with a couple of truly beautiful moments. Mark Kozelek seemed distracted (he later claimed he was “getting too old for this touring thing), and at some points seemed intent on fucking up the endings of songs just to get them over with.

Still, there were good moments; a countrified version of “Find Me, Ruben Olivares”, the now obligatory AC/DC covers (though he threatened to do a version of Stevie Nicks’s “Leather and Lace” - uhhh), and a suprisingly hilarious exchange between him and a female fan: she wanted him to play a particular song, which he couldn’t because it required a special guitar tuning.

“You’re breaking my heart!” she wailed.

“Well, you’re breaking my balls,” he deadpanned, “so I think we’re even.”

Still, the song he did play was soaring, glorious, and managed the impossible: it shut up a notoriously chatty Toronto bar crowd. For three minutes, people just stood there and listened. There may be hope for them, yet.

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